Team building exercises are a proven method to turn any discordant group into a smooth and well oiled operating machine.
All offices are filled with people who have different skills and responsibilities and whose personalities can result in conflict.
Team building exercises can change that group of co-workers into a cohesive, productive and happy team.
There are a number of exercises that can be implemented.
Asking employees to write down their expectations will help overcome personality clashes.
Their expectations, written anonymously on a blank card, are then listed on a board and each item is discussed by the team.
The expectation exercise allows employees to focus on ideas, rather than the person responsible for the suggestion.
This makes for enthusiastic and fruitful discussion.
- The Spaghetti Tower
This is an exercise in which teams compete to build the tallest free-standing tower in 18 minutes with just 20 pieces of spaghetti, one marshmallow, one meter of string and one meter of tape.
After the exercise teams should supply answers to questions such as:
- Who was the group leader?
- Could the task have been completed without a leader?
- How helpful were team members?
- How well received were ideas given by team members?
- Did the time limit have any impact on the team?
- What could the team have done differently?
- The beach ball toss
This exercise helps teams to get to know one another better and helps to build collaboration.
Random questions should be written on a beach ball and range from topics such as “what are your monthly/weekly goals”? to “what is your favourite food”?
The team stands in a circle and tosses the ball around. The catcher must answer the questions closest to his/her index finger.
- The great egg drop
The egg drop is a classic collaboration and problem-solving exercise.
This exercise takes about two hours.
Teams are divided into two or three groups and, with tools and materials provided must construct an egg package that will survive a 2.5-metre drop.
Once the packages have been completed, each team creates a 30-second ad describing the materials used for the project.
Then the teams drop their egg packages and success rates are gauged.
The egg drop is a fun exercise and teaches people that working together can increase innovation and creativity.
The ads they create are an example of collaboration, while the egg drop is a competitive and exciting challenge.
- Charitable causes
Although this is not a game, adopting a charitable cause can unite co-workers.
Companies can allocate two or three work days each year to allow employees the time to donate to a charity.
Co-workers are encouraged to work in teams and can donate their time to any number of causes such as a helping hand at homeless shelters, sharing mentoring skills at schools, or even helping to build homes for the needy.
These are just some of the team building exercises that can be used to turn a disgruntled and unhappy group of co-workers into a happy and cohesive work force.